After her highly lauded debut, Asia is back with new single “Cold Sweat,” out now on Lanewood Records. The Brussels-based singer-songwriter’s first EP Choked Up received praise for its emotionally, musically, and lyrically stripped-down approach. The titular track of this 2019 project features just sparse guitar, piano, and Asia’s vocals. “Cold Sweat” breaks new ground for the artist, with a quick-tempo bass and a throbbing drumbeat. This isn’t to say that this new single is any less intense than Asia‘s past releases – listen to the melancholy “Church” if you haven’t yet – as the track still confronts deep-rooted feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and anxiety. “Cold Sweat” is fast-paced yet devastating, the perfect soundtrack for this increasingly fast-paced yet devastating world.
Ruminating on the inspiration for the track, Asia explained, “Cold Sweat is a song about melancholy. I wrote it over the summer, finishing it in September, right after my friends left for college in different cities or countries. All those summer memories became violent, they were the constant reminder of what I had lost, a blessed time that I could never get back.” The 20-year-old singer-songwriter does an excellent job confronting the universally relatable emotion of loneliness that occurs when friends leave for better places without you, the phantom limb that aches when those you used to see often aren’t around anymore. She sings, “With empty bottles on the tables / My life passing by / No control / Reaching for a hand that is not there.” The hints towards the inescapable nature of these feelings, with Asia promising, “If I think about it, I’ll crash / If I dream about it, I’ll die.” “Cold Sweat” succeeds at portraying the devastating side of growing older as Asia encapsulates how it feels when the walls begin to close in on one’s youth.
Setting aside the expert musicianship and deep-cutting lyrics, there is one element that will certainly keep listeners returning to Asia‘s music: her inimitable voice. Though she easily gains a spot next to great contemporaries like Phoebe Bridgers, Angel Olsen, or Lucy Dacus, simple comparisons don’t do Asia‘s voice justice. Her voice constantly toes the line between angelic and ghostly, resulting in a serene vocal quality that almost transcends this earthly world. In short, her music is addictive. Get hooked with “Cold Sweat” now, at the link below.